Carl Jung was a Swiss psychologist/philosopher who came after the great
era of Freudian general nonsense. In fact, much of his work seems
to be a direct rebuttal to everyone’s favorite perverted victorian but
What You're Not Thinking About Now...
Under his school of thought, there exists in everyone two halves of
the unconscious. The personal- or the regular, private things that
go on in everyone’s mind even thought they may not know about them- and
the collective. The collective is sort of like an information server
that holds all the general memories and instincts and some perceptions
of all people on earth who have ever lived.
Floating around in this collective unconscious are archetypes, or stereotypes that are generally understood by all people and have some mystical significance. Archetypes are often also used when discussing works of fiction, because they can relate things to readers on a subconscious level making them easier to understand. I’m using them in a semiotics report for the same reason. [Characters in literature are supposed to raise themselves above stereotypes though.]
Example: When I say “Mother” to someone, they instantly conjure in their minds what a mother is to them and it’s pretty much the same thing to everyone on earth. There are variations on the mother of course: the good mother, the coddling mother, the evil stepmother…
Archetypes may also change as culture changes or even be created as
new things are invented. I.E. The evil scientist variant of the magician.
Quick Definitions of Other Terms...
Psyche- Basically, one's whole mind
Persona- The mask; what we wear to appear to the world, how we make other's percieve us.
Shadow- A nebulous term describing things we find undesirable, though it's a part of everyone and everything. It can also be the "bad" variant of an archetype, i.e. the evil stepmother is the shadow of the mother archetype.
Anima- Female aspect of a male soul/psyche
Animus- Male aspect of a female soul/psyche
(A healthy, whole man should express his anima and vice versa.)
We love Jung because...
Archetypes are also applicable to literature and movies and fiction
of all sorts generally. Everyone in the world
can understand them basically (and subconsciously) at first glance. They pervade all of our cultures as do some of the other ideas immediately above.
Supposedly, you can learn about most of the major archetypes in the ORIGINAL Star Wars movies even! But this is all you need to know for now so...
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